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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA

    Default Bees on Corkscrew Willow this time of year?

    My coworker was telling me that he has a Corkscrew (sometimes called Curly) Willow tree in his yard that has bees all over it, as in covering. I am assuming that this time of year they are pulling propolis? The tree is definitely a spring blooming tree.

    (Note: not a swarm, from his description, they are gathering something. My guess was propolis, but the sheer number he was talking about sounded large. - Thousands)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Chapel Hill, NC

    Default Re: Bees on Corkscrew Willow this time of year?

    They would not be gathering propolis with that number of bees. It must be something sweet. I'm guessing they are getting honeydew from scale or aphids on the tree.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Springfield, Ohio, USA

    Default Re: Bees on Corkscrew Willow this time of year?

    My neighbor has a mimosa tree that drops sap and all sorts of dander that attract bees well after the early summer blooms are finished. The bees spent all day gathering it, and his deck was covered in bees for a few weeks during a recent dry spell. I offered to wash his deck for him but he declined, figuring that the situation would take care of itself. Like Walliebee said, there must be some good sweetness in the sap.

    I learned a few good lessons:

    1) Good neighbors are invaluable.
    2) Bees will find nectar where they can get it
    3) Although there are widespread seasonal blooms, the occasional odd tree or plant can be a significant source of nectar.

    I made a mental note to gift some of the first honey from my new hives. It might not be until spring, but my neighbors are definitely on the top of the recipient list.
    Pete. New 2013, 12 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Southeast Virginia

    Default Re: Bees on Corkscrew Willow this time of year?

    We have a small corkscrew willow (20ish ft tall) in the corner of our yard that is under a very large willow oak (80+ ft tall 17ft around at the middle of the trunk) I have never seen a bee in our corkscrew. Not saying they don't use them, ours might be too shaded to produce anything of use, but I wouldn't plant one for the bees. We also have a very large mature willow tree (over 40yrs old around 60ft high probably ten feet around trunk) it was buzzing this past spring. Great to plant for the bees but a huge headache when it comes to yardwork, especially since it's next to our pond. I'm curious to find out what the bees where up to in that corkscrew, if it's useful to the ladies then that's a check mark in the trees favor to keep the chain saw away from it. Keep us posted if you discover what they where foraging, or if they just like swarming in them.


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